Standard Bank South Africa says it is moving its core SAP Cloud Platform services to Microsoft Azure to improve the experience customers have with the bank, while enabling it to introduce new solutions to market more efficiently.

This accelerates the digital transformation of SAP customers to S/4HANA by partnering with Microsoft and using jointly developed reference architectures, roadmaps, and industry best practices, the bank said.

It noted that many enterprises are looking to reduce their reliance on their own datacentres and moving more of their core workloads to the cloud.

Standard Bank’s CIO for personal and business banking SA, Sabelo Nkwanyana, said: “This partnership continues our focus on innovation by leveraging the respective skills of SAP and Microsoft to transform the digitisation and personalisation journey for our customers.”

Lillian Barnard, managing director, Microsoft South Africa said: “The Project Embrace initiative between Microsoft and SAP announced globally last year is centred around the customer journey to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure.

“The work that we are doing with Standard Bank is the first local demonstration of this partnership, and another milestone in the journey Microsoft is on with Standard Bank, to bring innovation into every aspect of the bank’s IT system and enable enriched interactions with the bank’s customers.”

“Today’s announcement is the biggest partnership centred on SAP implementation in Africa. With client experience a key strategic pillar for Standard Bank, Project Embrace reflects the shared commitment of both SAP and Microsoft to accelerate our customers’ journey to the cloud,” said Cathy Smith, managing director at SAP Africa.

The project will help Standard Bank deliver a faster time-to-market on products and services, while ensuring its IT infrastructure is optimised, the bank said.

By moving workloads to the cloud, Standard Bank will be able to access a range of features that it can deploy instantly and scale according to demand. This will result in cost reductions, improved system performance, and access to innovation, it said.

“Through Project Embrace, we are now able to better identify our business pain points and effectively address them through technologies that deliver a demonstrable return on investment,” said Nkwanyana.

This article first appeared on BusinessTech.